GREENSBORO, N.C. - The UNCG men's basketball program held media day Tuesday afternoon on campus in the basketball practice facility.
The Spartans met with local and regional media members before practice and head coach Wes Miller held his first press conference of the season.
"We have been trying to prepare for this season since last April and I know the team is really excited to get going," reigning SoCon Coach of the Year Wes Miller said. "We have some big-time goals this year. I know they are ready for the first game but I am ready for tonight's practice as we still have a lot of work to do before then."
The Spartans are coming off one of the biggest in-season turnarounds in the entire country last season after opening the year with a 2-13 record, before turning on the jets down the stretch to an 11-5 record in their final 16 games.
UNCG picked up the Southern Conference North Division championship for its effort in the second half of the year, posting a 10-8 mark in league play.
"Our expectations for this year, and every year, is to play the NCAA Tournament," Miller said. "We return four of five starters and six of our top nine players from last season. I think the next step for this team is to play in March. As we go through the year, our goal is to get to the tournament and when we do that, we will make some new goals once we are there."
The Spartans are led by junior Trevis Simpson (Douglas, Ga./Coffee) who led the SoCon in scoring last season at 18.3 points per game. Simpson ranks 10th in the NCAA Division I in scoring among returning players and is third among returning juniors in scoring. Also returning for the Spartans is senior guard Derrell Armstrong (Mechanicsburg, Md./Allegany CC) who averaged 12.5 points despite starting just three games last season.
Also in the mix for UNCG is sophomore Nicholas Paulos (Salt Lake City, Utah/New Hampton School) who played in 29 games last season and was third on the team with 39 3-pointers made. Junior guard Drew Parker (Houston, Texas/LaPorte) returns after leading the SoCon in 3-point shooting, connecting on 47.6 percent (40-of-84) from long range.
The Spartans open the season with an exhibition game November 3 against Bluefield State.
The game will be played in Fleming Gymnasium at 6 p.m. and will be part of the UNCG Homecoming festivities. Admission is free, but seating is limited so fans are encouraged to arrive early.
The 2012-13 regular season opens Nov. 9 as the Spartans travel 15 miles across the Triad to take on High Point. Game time is set for 7 p.m.
UNCG Sports Information Dept.